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All-Time Cowboys: The Best Ever OSU Wrestlers for Each Weight Class

Using the current weight classes, I lay out my all-time Cowboy team.

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Oklahoma State wrestling is the dynasty of dynasties boasting 34 team NCAA titles, hundreds of individual champions and countless All-Americans. How do you make an all-time team with all of the greats that have come through this program? It’s a borderline impossible task to complete without receiving some criticism, but here I’m going to try and give it my best shot.

Note: I’m using the current weight classes and flexes in wrestlers from older eras accordingly.

125 — Yojiro Uetake

So I’m using my position as the guy making this list to take some liberties with how I do it. Part of that is realizing that a lot of weights aren’t the same as what they once were. Uetake wrestled at 130 in college and I obviously have him here at 125. He wrestled internationally at 57 KG (125.6 pounds) though and won both of his Olympic Gold medals at the weight. So it stands to reason that he could’ve easily been a 125 if that were a weight at the time.

With all of that said, Uetake was one of the greatest to ever do it. IMO he is the greatest Oklahoma State wrestler ever and should be compared to Cael Sanderson in most of the conversations about who is the greatest college wrestler of all time, though he finished third in the NCAA’s most recent rankings for that.

Uetake went undefeated in his college career and won three NCAA titles. At the time freshmen were not allowed to compete at the NCAA tournament. In 1964, while he was still in college, he won his first Olympic Gold medal which he followed up in 1968 with another. The definition of the GOAT.

133 — John Smith

The other GOAT currently heads the Oklahoma State wrestling program. John didn’t have quite the impressive college career as Uetake, or some of the other greats on this list, but his six-year run of World/Olympic titles was something American wrestling had never seen before and will likely never see again. You can watch all six of John’s World and Olympic titles in this post I put together last year.

You could make a legitimate argument that Myron Roderick, Eric Guerrero, and even Johnny Thompson had better college careers, but John’s dominance in his senior year and making the acknowledgement that he’s the best American freestyle wrestler to ever lace them up gives him the edge to me.

141 — David “Buddy” Arndt

Arndt has a unique story. He’s the only wrestler to win NCAA titles on both sides of WW2. He won two then went to be a fighter pilot in the war for a few years and returned in 1946 and won another title. He was undefeated in his career at Oklahoma State.

149 — Stanley Henson

Dr. Stanley Henson was a three-time NCAA champ for the Cowboys and finished his career with only one loss. Luke Garza, who was the beat writer for PFB when Dr. Henson passed away a few years ago summarized his career and life here.

157 — Pat Smith

NCAA wrestling’s first four-time champ Pat Smith gets the 157 spot. The Cowboys have had a lot of history at this weight class. We could’ve inserted Olympic Gold medalists Kenny Monday and Doug Blubaugh, but with Smith accomplishing a feat that only three other wrestlers have ever accomplished, he gets the nod.

165 — Alex Dieringer

Dieringer is the youngest wrestler to make this list. The three-time NCAA champ and Hodge winner was about as good as it gets during his time in an orange singlet. I would personally argue that he was the best Cowboy we’ve seen since Pat Smith.

174 — Chris Pendleton

Pendleton was a two-time NCAA champion and finished third as a sophomore for the Cowboys. Besides John Smith, who is universally looked at as the greatest American freestyle wrestler of all time, Pendleton is the first two-time champion that I’ve included on this list. The way he handled two-time Hodge winner Ben Askren during his time in college, gives him the nod here over Christ Perry, who had a very similar college resume.

184 — Jake Rosholt

Rosholt was a three-time NCAA champion for the Cowboys during their run of four-straight NCAA titles in the early 2000s. His remarkable ability to “flip the switch” at the NCAA tournament was something rarely seen in wrestling. Rosholt only won one Big 12 title, but managed to pick up three NCAA titles and one third place finish in his career.

197 — Geoff Baum

Baum’s probably one of the lesser known or lesser talked about guys on this list. Baum was a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion in the early 1970s. Interestingly, Baum is the second wrestler on this list along with Stanley Henson that went on to be a doctor. Baum is now an orthopedic surgeon in Oregon and has been practicing there since 1984.

HWT — Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson was the superstar of the Cowboy wrestling program during the 1970s. He won three NCAA titles from 1976-78 and alongside Lee Kemp was the first African-American to do so.

Jackson was also a focal point of one of the most historic nights in old Gallagher Hall as right after Daryl Monasmith upset Iowa State’s Frank Santana in the Big 8 Championship, Jackson pinned Iowa State’s Tom Waldon in 22 seconds to seal the conference title for the Cowboys.

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